In recent weeks the coal lobby has launched a renewed propaganda offensive, including Pauline Hansen offering support for Coalition tax legislation in exchange for a new coal-fired power station in North Queensland and former Prime Minister Tony Abbott calling for government funding for new coal-fired power stations.
In April Adani applied to the federal Department of Environment and Energy to expand a dam by 450% and build a pipeline for its Carmichael coalmine, without an assessment under national environment laws.
Renewable energy projects currently under construction in Queensland are set to create a comparable number of jobs to those of the controversial Adani new coal project, if it proceeds. The growth of renewable power generation will create more jobs than have been lost in coalmining.
It is approaching crunch time for the Adani mega-coalmine in Queensland’s Galilee Basin, with the movement against it growing by the day, including in areas that traditionally support mining.
Protests disrupt Westpac’s 200th birthday dinner
Guests attending Westpac’s black tie 200th birthday gala dinner on April 8 were greeted by hundreds of protesters outside the event at Carriageworks in Redfern, who angrily denounced Westpac for not distancing itself from Adani’s proposed Carmichael coalmine in Queensland's Galilee basin.
Shaun Murray climbed some scaffolding and chained himself to the building, interrupting the dinner for 90 minutes.
Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk should hang her head in shame. She has proven once again that the word “Labor” in “Australian Labor Party” has no connection with the interests of working people in Australia — or anywhere else.
Palaszczuk headed a delegation to India on March 17 to underscore her government’s support for the Adani company’s proposed Carmichael thermal coalmine. If it is given the go ahead, it will be the largest coal mine in Australia and one of the largest in the world. It would be the first for the Galilee Basin, and it would open the door to more.
The “clean coal” power generator being promoted by the federal government comes from a 2009 proposal by Clive Palmer to provide electricity to Galilee Basin coalmines planned by Palmer, Gina Rinehart and Adani.
Palmer’s Waratah Coal applied to the Clean Energy Finance Corporation on February 24 to finance a 900MW coal generator that proposes to use an unproven technology: carbon capture and storage.
The plan is to bury the emissions from the coal plant in the Galilee Basin, “sequestered” in an “un-mineable” area of coal seams one kilometre underground.
Since Prime Minister Malcom Turnbull replaced Tony “coal is good for humanity” Abbott, the Adani Carmichael mine, the Galilee Basin and environmental “lawfare” has been out of the news. But an increase in the coal price and Turnbull’s apparent change of view means the Coal Wars are back. This is a review of some of the key claims at the heart of the Australian coal debate.
CLAIM: The Adani mine will create 10,000 jobs.
The Queensland government gave Indian mining company Adani environmental approval to build Australia's largest coalmine in the Galilee Basin on February 3.
Tony Fontes of the Environment Council of Central Queensland said: “This project has no money, no social license, is universally hated, and has been rejected by most of the world's largest banks.
"With coal prices at an all-time low, support for protecting the Great Barrier Reef at an all-time high, the Palaszczuk government is treading a dangerous line in supporting this reef-wrecking coal project.”
On November 27 the ABC published documents showing that the Queensland Coordinator General plans to extinguish native title over parts of the proposed Carmichael mining site in the Galilee basin and give the freehold to Adani.
The document said: "The Moray Downs Land acquisition includes the takeover of native title rights and interests of the Wangan and Jagalingou people to allow for the leasehold land to be converted to freehold.